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Warner "entertains" in the final chapter of his farewell ending

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Last updated on 06 Jan 2024 | 05:00 AM
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Warner "entertains" in the final chapter of his farewell ending

David Warner left the Test arena doing the job for his team one final time in whites

David Warner is not your methodical Test opener. He is exciting and entertaining to watch and takes complete pride in it. His last Test innings - 57 runs, 75 balls, 97 minutes, seven fours - felt like he wanted to reiterate the same before leaving the big stage. 

15 wickets falling on Day 3 ensured we will get a final Warner show in the whites. And that is what the anticipation was built around on Day 4. There was a huge ovation as Warner walked out to bat in the second innings. The Pakistan team arranged a guard of honour for the second time in the match to acknowledge the left-hander. 

Chasing only 130, there was enough in the pitch to suggest Pakistan had a fighting chance. Former England skipper, Michael Vaughan, mentioned in the commentary box that Australia were once bowled out for 93 while chasing 107 against India. Minutes later, off-spinner Sajid Khan pinned Usman Khawaja in front of the stumps in the first over, complicating things for the hosts. 

Under fire as a left-hander against Sajid on a turning pitch, Warner countered the situation with a reverse sweep for four. It was a display of both courage and skill that makes him exciting. There was at least one boundary per over for the next six overs. Warner contributed four of those. In the blink of an eye, Australia were 45/1 in nine overs, going at a run rate of 5 per over and the deficit being in two digits. Warner had played two reverse sweeps, both for fours in this passage alone, reaching 31 off only 36 balls. 

While Aamer Jamal picked a six-fer in the first innings, the Pakistan spinners tightened the noose on the Aussie batters, going at an economy of 2.5 in 46 overs while picking three wickets. Warner identified the threat and took it down with his adventurous batting, scoring 40 off the 48 deliveries he faced from Sajid and Agha Salman. 

The 37-year old went to Lunch at 52 off 61 balls and with Australia only 39 runs behind. Well, that was the last of Warner at his best in whites. He seemed a bit at sea post Lunch, scoring only five more from 14 balls before being pinned by Sajid in front of the stumps. But by then, he had done his job, absorbing the pressure in home conditions with another breezy knock. 

The whole SCG stopped for Warner. The Pakistan players shook hands congratulating him. The crowd stood up again. Steve Smith, the next batter, stayed by the ropes as Warner kissed his helmet and absorbed the applause. He walked past the “426 Thanks Dave” message displayed on the ground which would leave even a neutral fan a little emotional. On his way to the dressing room, he handed his helmet and gloves to a young kid in the stands right next to the staircase. 

Australia won the series 3-0 and Warner joined the likes of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer, Greg Chappell, and Dennis Lillee in terms of a fairytale ending. When Australia take the field next for a two-match Test series against the West Indies starting on January 17, Warner will be busy framing the blueprint for Dubai Capitals' second season in the ILT20 (beginning on January 19) and his first as a captain. 

He will switch to the life of a T20 globetrotter for the remainder of his career. However, he will always be remembered as one of Australia’s most successful Test openers, having scored 26 hundreds at that position, the second most after Matthew Hayden’s tally of 30. His worn out cap is a testament to his contributions. 

Asked how he would want to be remembered in the interview right before the presentation ceremony, Warner said: “Exciting and entertaining.”

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